I have a love for trees that change color. Fall leaves. They are healthy and green in the summer and then when fall comes, autumn’s crisp air, they magically change from green to deep golden colors. And then one fall blustery day, they dance gracefully to the ground.
Fall leaves. They look as beautiful on the ground as they do in the trees. They blanket the ground like a handmade quilt.
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One of the best things from our trip to San Francisco and Napa was the weather and the natural fall colors, even in the big city.
It’s no secret that I love fall and all the feels of fall. The temperatures, the colors, the smells. It’s also no secret that I live in Texas and we have very few of these feels.
“Life is either an adventure…. or nothing at all,” said Helen Keller.
Helen Keller didn’t have the ability to see or hear but she still knew what adventure was. She was a smart girl.
Our adventure started in San Francisco and it was full of all the glory of fall. The trees were beautiful and even though it was a large urban city, it was full of streets and neighborhoods that were tree lined and full of color.
Our view out our hotel was stunning because we saw the bay, the wharf and all that entails. And these trees.
Our window opened wide and when we were in the room, it was open. I would have slept with it open, if it were up to me. You could hear all the street music (this reminded me of Paris and New Orleans). You could even hear the sea lions barking and that was lovely. You could feel the cool air. You could smell the sea.
The neighborhoods were full of touches of fall, both manmade and natural.
The storefronts had pumpkins and Halloween décor.
We walked up (most everything was up!) the hill to Ghirardelli Square where the stores were lovely and the smell of chocolate was even more lovely.
There was a fountain in the center of the square that had been emptied and the water had been replaced with pumpkins–of every size and color. It was a sight for these fall-loving eyes.
In the streets and on the sidewalks, there were beautiful fall colored leaves. That had fallen. (duh!)
I would love a bouquet of fresh fall leaves. They really can be almost as pretty and vibrant as flowers. They probably wouldn’t have the same lovely fragrance though, would they?
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”- Albert Camus
Napa was also full of these colors, and the cooler fall temps. In the perfect rows of grapevines, in the rolling hills that seems to be like a fall patchwork quilt. And of course in the trees. All the sights mixed with drizzling rain and cool temperatures, I knew I was no longer in Texas.
Our view out our patio in Napa was another lovely sight. Grapevines, that were changing colors, and a statue of a grape stomper.
One day, Danni and I were sitting on the patio and I saw something moving. I wish we had binoculars but we did have my camera with a zoom.
A sweet little jack rabbit. His big ears were swishing when I first saw him. In our family, we love bunnies and see them as a sign of peace.
This was a very peaceful place.
The wineries that we visited were all full of natural vegetation that was feeling the autumn temperatures. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of all the fall beauty.
It was everywhere. Even growing up the ancient walls of the wineries.
“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”- John Burroughs
Yes, the weather definitely played a part of our experience in California. It was almost another character to the story. When we stepped off the plane in Dallas, it all came back, hitting us in the face-like a bad pie. It was like walking back in time into August all over again.
Thanks for welcoming us home, Texas. I love you, but I am not sure why I live here in you.
Love and blessings~dd
This is not the first time I have written about fall leaves. To read more of my love for these beautiful shapely gifts from God, read here.
Sadly, in Texas, we don’t see gorgeous fall leaves until deep October and sometimes Thanksgiving.
I have to decorate with the faux ones.
I love Texas, born and raised, but as I have traveled and even more so as I have aged, I have realized there are much prettier places. (duh!)
I have tried (and succeeded) to find the beauty in Waco. The downtown area on Austin Avenue and more precise, the Cameron Park and Brazos River area are quite gorgeous. As I state over and over, one must look around them and find the beauty. (more about Waco in tomorrow’s post)
For me, I know it is truly autumn, in Waco, when I am headed home, down Lake Shore Drive. When I see a tree, a specific Oak. When I see that tree has turned the most gorgeous shades of fall, a flutter comes upon me and I truly tear up. Every year. Every time. This may sound really silly. But that is when I know the holidays are upon us and the spirit is within me and I am ready!
I should take a picture of that tree someday.
I did take this magnificent shot of a tree that had turned in Grapevine, two years ago at Thanksgiving.
I love the falling leaves. Every house we have had, in our 29 years, has mainly had Live Oaks. While pretty in their own way, they do not turn the pretty colors, the oh-my-it-is-fall colors! They do have acorns though-and that is fall.
When Cameron did her study abroad in London two years ago, she was lucky to have experienced autumn in such a lovely place. She had gorgeous leaves falling all around her.
She knew how much I love them and she mailed me a leaf all the way from London! (I tried to preserve it but one day, it fell on the floor and Charli destroyed it. She was only six months old and what was on the ground was hers!)
Danni and I were blessed to cross the pond and visit Cameron while she was there studying.
This is in Notting Hill. A dreary, perfect London day! I have a habit of taking pictures of my kids walking in cool cities. (ah ha-blog idea!!)
These beautiful leaves were in Grosvenor Square, in Mayfair, in London. If you travel to London, do so in the fall. It’s so pretty and because they don’t have Thanksgiving, they deck the city in Christmas splendor, in November. Amazing-truly amazing!
So basically, if I want to experience autumn in all its glory, I must travel.
And that’s alright.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” Albert Camus said poetically.